More than 2,570 teachers earn National Board certification; national total exceeds 128,500 despite extraordinary year for educators

In a remarkable school year, during which in-person learning came to a standstill in many locations, 2,576 educators showed their deep commitment to their students and their own professional learning by pursuing and achieving National Board certification. These teachers came from 48 states and 2,070 schools. Along with 2,484 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) who renewed their certificate, a total of 128,550 from all 50 states teach to the highest standards in the profession and impact culture and learning for vast numbers of students, schools, and communities.

“The pandemic truly tested the mettle of anybody working in a school setting — including teachers and their students. Those teachers who achieved Board certification this year voluntarily chose to challenge themselves, reflect on their practice and confirm that they are teaching to the highest standards. There should be high standards for all professionals — and these professional educators have proven that they teach to those high standards during a year that was uniquely difficult,” said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Meaningful Metrics

North Carolina (467), Washington (275), California (173), Alabama (166) and Illinois (164) topped the state rankings for the year. Since inception, North Carolina ranks first overall (23,090), followed by Florida (13,559), Washington (11,645), South Carolina (9,277) and California (7,490). Wake County, North Carolina had the most new NBCTs of any district nationwide, with 100. Additional data is available here and on each individual state page.

Nearly half of all new NBCTs come from Title 1 high needs schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District, which had the second-most new NBCTs in the nation, with 84, led the nation with the most new teachers of color earning Board certification, with 49.

Two schools, the Lomita Math & Science Magnet School in Los Angeles and Southern High School from Jefferson County, Kentucky each had seven new NBCTs, heading the pack this year.

“At Southern High School, we incorporate elements of the National Board’s Five Core Propositions into many aspects and systems inside the school. As such, teachers’ pursuing and achieving Board certification are natural byproducts. This integration leads to a school-wide culture focused on better instruction and more importantly increased student learning,” said Tyler Shearon, principal of Southern High. 

“Our work is about driving teaching quality and assuring that all students have equal access to the best possible teachers. Just this past year we have seen policymakers support Board certification; communities applaud teachers in virtual, in-person, and hybrid roles; and teachers themselves strive to improve their practice and deliver on behalf of their students. I couldn’t be more proud of all educators but especially NBCTs and those engaged in the process. Today, especially, is a great day to celebrate educators,” said Brookins.


About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (

The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.